Finslippy, one of the fabulous bloggers I read, recently wrote this post about her son, Henry. She touts the wonders of his age - 4 1/2 years old. A great age! An amazing age!
Even though Sweetie is just 2 months into her 4th year - I have to agree. 4 is awesome!
She's sensitive (asking me to play with her, but telling me I'm too sore to play like this, sit there, or do such and such activity. Visibly upset when we're disappointed in something she's done. Beaming with pride when she does something great).
She's helpful (taking dry laundry from the dryer to the bathroom, living room or folded towels to the kitchen drawer. Or even folded laundry upstairs to her room).
She's patient (I'll watch this while you write and wait for you to play with me after. - something she just said to me as I started this post).
She's cooperative (sharing everything from food to toys to TV-watching times with me and Daddy).
She's so smart....
She works in her "school books", learning simple math and reading.
She can put together her USA map puzzle all by herself and she knows several of the states by name and/or sight. In fact, I was telling my mom this the other day while Sweetie and I were visiting her house and I mentioned that Sweetie knows Mickey Mouse's state of Florida. Then I asked Sweetie what picture was on Florida's puzzle piece. Is it a peacock? I asked - really, that's what I seemed to remember that it was. But Sweetie quickly corrected me - No, it's not a peacock! It's an alligator! And, indeed, it is. Wow!
Just a little while ago, Sweetie and I were "playing" Blokus. She doesn't play by the correct rules, but she does like to put all the pieces on the grid so that each and every piece fits. Then she can spend a long, long time, by herself, switching out the pieces, rearranging the grid so that all the pieces continue to have a spot on the board. Brilliant!
And Sweetie is understanding. Almost shockingly so.
This past weekend she got it in her head that she wanted to go to the Peanuts on the Floor Store. We told her we couldn't go then but we'd go in a few days. Hubby even made a deal with her that if she ate great dinners at home for a few nights, then on Tuesday night we'd go to the Peanuts on the Floor Store.
Yesterday, of course, was Tuesday. The big day. And she had eaten some really great dinners, so the restaurant visit was definitely deserved. Now all we had to do was wait for Daddy to come home from work, then we'd go.
She kept asking me all day long if it was time to go yet. She kept asking when Daddy would be home. She knew she wanted to get macaroni and cheese and chocolate milk for dinner and she was excited!
Then it was getting later and later. I feared Daddy would now be home too late to go out again. And I warned Sweetie that I thought this would be the case.
At one point I thought I heard Hubby drive in the driveway. Sweetie excitedly said, Now we can go to the Peanuts on the Floor Store! But I had to remind her that it was too late to go today. We'd go another time.
Alas, it wasn't Hubby driving in at that time. He was later still. Didn't walk in the door until close to 6:30pm. He quietly asked me if I still wanted to go out, but I said no. We'll go another time.
And Sweetie never once put up a stink about it. For all her excitement about it, for all her questions all day long about when we'd go - literally all she said to me when I said we couldn't go today was, Oh. That's it. Wow.
I keep thinking back to last summer. When I wrote posts like this and this. How much I couldn't handle Sweetie's antics. How trying she was. How stressful and frustrating her behavior was. The supreme craziness she was bringing into my life. 3 1/2 was busting my chops in a big, big way.
Huh. Now I have 4 year old Sweetie. Good Sweetie. Sweet sweetie. My little girl has returned.
I've really loved spending my recovery time with her. We've played together, we've done chores together, we've watched TV together. And we've played and worked and watched separately as well. I'm often concerned about whether or not I'm playing with her enough - do I leave her to her own imagination too much? Do I allow too much TV? Is it detrimental that I ask, even expect, her to help with some chores instead of letting her play and do and be a kid?
But, no, maybe not. She's really good. She's really smart. She's really helpful.
Either I'm doing this mom thing pretty well after all, or Sweetie's just too with it to let my little parenting slip ups beat her down.
Never let The Man (or the Mom, or the Dad, or anyone, for that matter) beat you down, Sweetie. Never.